I would love to pick through the undergrowth of a tropical forest, but alas, I’m an anxious creature by nature and do not wish to leave the comfort of my own home. So, I turn my attention to wildlife games that take me to those places without the airfare and mosquitoes.
Flutter Away, a short and sweet wildlife documenting game where you and your camera delve into nature, allows me to experience a dense forest packed with flora and fauna as if I was there. Um, look away now if you don’t like butterflies.
Flutter Away places you, a researcher, deep in the rainforest where you fill in your journal over the course of a week while camping in the rainforest. You also snap snazzy pics of every type of butterfly and animal you see to help fill it out.
You have some other tools, too, like your cozy campfire and a stick that butterflies can perch on, letting you take a good look at them from every angle. Some specimens are sneaky, though, and you might need to shake a tree or move a leaf to uncover a new species for documentation.
Remember when you were a kid, and you’d spend all your time outside playing with sticks and finding bugs? Flutter Away gives me nostalgia for that, except this time, I’m actually learning about the insects from the journal entries. But it isn’t all about insects – no, you quickly find a capybara that is your neighbor for the next few nights, you slowly build trust with her, and can even name her CapyBarbara.
There was, however, an unexpected discovery that took me by absolute surprise. During a day later in the week, CapyBarbara wants you to follow her to a clearing surrounded by trees. Here, you can grab a large leaf, and what’s underneath? Two baby capybaras! I admit I welled up immediately on seeing the two tiny baby capybaras curled up under a leaf. I’ve not seen something so cute in a long time.
And then – get this – you can pet them! Both mother and babies allow you to give them a good scritch as they follow you to your campsite, and snooze freely on the floor by your tent. The entire game is only a couple of hours long, but in that time you find out a lot about your surroundings and the character you’re playing. I’ve recently come to very much enjoy short games that you can play and experience entirely in one sitting, and this fits the bill perfectly for an evening’s entertainment.
Everything about Flutter Away is relaxing, even getting to grips with controls and game mechanics. Your camera, journal, and butterfly perch are tied to the arrow keys on the Switch, then it’s as easy as one, two, three to open one up and hit ZR to record your discoveries or snap a pic of a pretty winged critter.
Is Flutter Away particularly graphically impressive? No, but it’s brimming with butterflies and is a wonderful short little adventure. I’m now fully converted to loving capybaras, all thanks to CapyBarbara.